Over 20k immigrants to Israel since Ukraine war began; almost half from Russia

The war between Russia and Ukraine is sending out refugees from both sides.

Ukrainian Jews return to Israel. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Ukrainian Jews return to Israel.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

After the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out, over 21,000 Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian immigrants – who are eligible for the Law of Return – have entered Israel. Although many expected a myriad of immigrants from Ukraine, almost half of the immigrants came from Russia.

Expectations versus reality

According to the Aliyah Ministry, most of the 21,000 immigrants have become Israeli citizens. The ministry has reported that 1,153 of those who are eligible for aliyah have not yet finished their immigration process.

Of the total number of immigrants, 10,019 of them arrived from Ukraine, 9,777 are from Russia and 455 made aliyah from Belarus. On Monday, 211 olim (new immigrants) arrived in Israel from these countries.

Moving away or visiting home?

 REFUGEES FROM Ukraine and Russia board their aliyah flight at Chisinau Airport. (credit: BRIAN SCHRAUGER) REFUGEES FROM Ukraine and Russia board their aliyah flight at Chisinau Airport. (credit: BRIAN SCHRAUGER)

The Jerusalem Post spoke to several Russian olim who had come to Israel in the past few months and then left. Most of them have since returned to Israel and many others intend to return in the near future.

“I don’t know any recent immigrants from Russia who have returned to Russia with no future plans to come back to Israel,” said Alex, a Russian Jew who made aliyah recently from Moscow. “Most of the people returned to Russia for some time because the decision to come to Israel was urgent and not well-prepared.”

These olim felt the need to speak up because of the Post’s inquiry last month, which claimed that about 1,800 of the Russian olim returned to Russia with their new Israeli passports.

Alex and the rest of the olim who spoke to the Post have asked to be kept anonymous, as they fear threats from the Russian regime.